2013 ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards

Michael W. Wells


President   REI Investments, Inc.

WHEN MIKE WELLS ENROLLED AT PURDUE, he wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to study but thought engineering would be a good choice. One year into collegiate life, the Decatur, Illinois, native found himself heavily involved in student government and local issues—
and he determined, with the counsel of Dr. Dick Grace (then head of Interdisciplinary Engineering) that a pre- law major suited his interests and career aspirations.
While pursuing his studies, Wells joined Beta Theta Pi fraternity, eventually serving as house president, and helped found a tenant-landlord association at Purdue to help represent students. His efforts in that association— writing a model lease, creating a student handbook, disseminating information—and his related service in student government as student attorney general helped lead to the creation of a new dean’s position on campus with responsibility for student affairs.
He also found time to serve as president of the Purdue Student Publishing Foundation, which owned The Exponent. He was a member of Iron Key and was named Purdue’s Outstanding Senior Male for 1975.
After graduation, Wells earned a degree from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law at Indiana University (Indianapolis) and began his legal career in the areas of real estate and tax-exempt financing. He then got into the real estate business himself.
As president of the Carmel, Indiana-based REI Investments Inc., which manages REI Real Estate Services, Wells has been involved over the past 25 years in a number of significant real estate projects, including the JW Marriott Hotel, Marriott Place, Circle City Mall, WellPoint Operation Center, Emmis Communications headquarters, and the Indianapolis Marriott Hotel, all in downtown Indianapolis.
In addition to his development activities, Wells manages the portfolio of real estate investments owned by REI Real Estate Partnership. These investments include 300 North Meridian in downtown Indianapolis, several parking garages, and numerous suburban office buildings. REI currently has more than $200 million of development projects ongoing.